Hey, Hollywood, Leave the Bullet Alone!

At one point in the movie comedy The Green Hornet (2011), the Hornet (Seth Rogen) gets shot in the shoulder. He can’t go to the hospital or his identity will be found out. So, in [...]

By | August 3rd, 2016|Other Wounds, Skin|9 Comments

WV Water Nightmare: Why Activated Charcoal May Not Work

Note: This post has a correction. Scroll to the bottom to view. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Regarding the recent chemical spill preventing over 300,000 people in West Virginia from using their water, I wrote on Facebook about water purification, “unfortunately, I know of no improvisational method that removes chemicals.” Some commenters suggested distilling could in fact do just that. Others wondered about activated charcoal. Excellent suggestions, especially in a situation where there’s no expert alternative. What I should have written was, “I know of no method that reliably moves all chemicals.” […]

By | January 20th, 2014|Infectious Disease|36 Comments

In the News: Dangers of Combining Two Popular Medications

(This is a bonus post this week due to the timeliness of the topic.) An example of clarithromycin. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Some of my readers stock up on antibiotics. (Read more about doing that in my free report about medical supplies.) Whenever you’re storing prescription meds for disaster prep, remember that there are reasons these medications are tightly regulated. In other words, be careful. For one thing, some of them can have serious interactions with other medications. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reminds us of this. Canadian researchers reconfirmed that taking a calcium-channel blocker and the antibiotic clarithromycin (Biaxin) together can cause serious side effects, including a dangerous lowering of blood pressure, kidney damage, and even death. […]

By | November 16th, 2013|Infectious Disease|7 Comments

Media Checkup: Does the Flu Shot Really Prevent Heart Attacks?

This week’s post is being published early due to newsworthiness. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Okay. I know some of you have concerns about whether the flu shot does more harm than good, whether it works, and how well it does (not so great last year for those over 65). In fact, it’s still hit-or-miss on whether the powers that be can guess each year’s flu strains correctly for the vaccine. (Seems to me, though, they have a lot better track record than those guessing on the weather.) But a new study making the media rounds may make you look at the flu shot in a whole different way. […]

By | October 26th, 2013|Infectious Disease|35 Comments

Tom Hanks Has Diabetes: Could His “Cast Away” Character Have Survived?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Reading that Tom Hanks now has type 2 diabetes made me think: What if his character in Cast Away had the same disease? You know, the movie where his plane goes down and he spends four years stranded alone on an island? In such a scenario, could he survive type 2 diabetes? What do you think? […]

By | October 16th, 2013|General|13 Comments

How to Treat a Burn Like a TV Star

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Many of us try to stay outside as much as we can this time of year. Grilling, camping, swimming, there’s so much to do. You sure don’t want to waste time when you could be having fun recuperating from an injury. One hazard common to all the activities I mentioned is burns. Even a bad sunburn can be severe enough to cause blisters and make you feel horrible. (In fact, I recently wrote on how to avoid this and on the pros and cons of using sunscreen.) But sometimes, accidents just happen—and so do burns worse than any sunburn. That’s why everyone should know at least the basics of how to treat a burn. Minimize the damage, and you’ll minimize that recovery time. As an example, let’s look at a real-life burn. Would you know what to do in the following situation? […]

By | July 3rd, 2013|Other Wounds, Skin|4 Comments

The Movie Way to Stop a Nose Bleed (and Die)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I hope you never stop a nose bleed like they do in the movies. If you do, you just might bleed to death. Here’s a typical scene: The hero has been punched in the face and his nose is bleeding pretty badly. He sits down, tilts his head back, and pinches the bridge of his nose or applies an ice pack to that area. Well, at least they get one thing right. […]

By | March 4th, 2013|Other Wounds, Skin|19 Comments

How to Tell a Vampire Bite From a Poisonous-Snake Bite (And What to Do Once You Know)

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. You’re wading through brush when you feel a nip on your ankle. You look down and see a couple of marks, but don’t see what bit you (and it’s better not to go looking since you might get bitten again). Two marks. Fang marks. Have you disturbed a copperhead or was it that Twilight boy taking a nap? […]

By | March 29th, 2012|Critters|17 Comments

7 Surefire Ways to Get a Good Set of Fang Marks

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Reader Barbara writes: One of the obvious dangers of living in the wilderness is being bitten by a snake. What can we do for a snake bite when there is no medical care available—assuming the snake is poisonous? Comfort or treatment suggestions? Yes, Barbara, I have some suggestions. But first things first: You have to get bitten before you need treatment. The thing is, most snake bites happen when people take unsafe risks. They almost act like they want to be bitten. Hmmm … come to think of it, considering you Twilight and True Blood fans … free tattoo? Well, let me tell you, these fang marks cause quite a different reaction than the ones you get from good-looking vampires. Still, to each his own. If Twihards and Truebies want to get a snake bite, let me help!* It’s really a snap. Here’s how: […]

By | March 27th, 2012|Critters, Reader Questions|15 Comments